DECATUR, ALABAMA – May 6, 2008. While Bassmasters of North Alabama can not lay claim to being in existence for 30 or 40 plus years, it can lay claim through its membership to long and dedicated service to the Alabama B.A.S.S. Federation Nation and the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society. This club was born on May 6, 2008 by club members who had been connected to the sport and BASS since a cold winter night in January 1973 when a group of friends and fellow anglers gathered at the home of Bob Hull located just at the top of the mountain above Guntersville on Highway 431 to organize one of the first bass clubs affiliated with a new organization called the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society.
Club member Don Gowen was one of the original Charter Members of the club known as the Lake Guntersville Bassmasters (LGBM). Don served the club in every office for over 35 years and represented the club in the old Alabama BASS Federation. He was elected by the Lake Guntersville Bassmasters to a Lifetime Membership for his leadership and dedication to the club – he was the only remaining Charter Member of the LGBM when Bassmasters of North Alabama was formed.
Along the way, Don helped other anglers to become a part of the LGBM, the sport of bass fishing and the BASS Federation. One of these was his son, Blake Gowen, who began bass fishing with his dad at the age of 4. Blake took to the sport and upon reaching his 16th birthday, joined the club and fished his first Federation tournament on Weiss Lake in Northeast Alabama. Since then, Blake has served LGBM in every capacity as an officer before being elected Charter President of Bassmasters of North Alabama – like father, like son. Other members of the BMNA share similar experiences with LGBM and other clubs but came together with a mutual interest to form the Premier Bass Club of North Alabama – the Bassmasters of North Alabama. Our club is the first and only affiliated bass club of the Alabama B.A.S.S. Federation Nation, Inc. to be issued a State Charter by that organization.
Don Gowen continued to represent the LGBM and support the growth of the Alabama B.A.S.S. Federation Nation as District 2 Director and Treasurer of the organization from 2006 to 2009 when he retired as a Director and Treasurer to provide an opportunity for a younger angler to provide new leadership. He and Bassmasters of North Alabama support the national B.A.S.S. organization by acting as coordinator and volunteer help in staging Bassmaster Elite and Open Tournaments on the Tennessee River, the Bassmaster Classic when staged in the state, conducting CastingKids Contests, and helping with charity tournaments such as Tim Horton’s Annual “Fishing for Kids” Tournament, the “Fishin4Acure” organization, and other community events. The club has strong, solid and dedicated leadership and members to meet the challenges and support the sport of bass fishing in Alabama and our nation. The Club is organized as a Non-Profit, Tax-Exempt Association under Title 10, The Code of Alabama 1975 - The Alabama Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Act.”
Charter Members of Bassmasters of North Alabama were:
Eddie Borden, Jason Borden, Blake Gowen, Don Gowen, Dr. Edward Guice, Alan W. Kyle,
Chris LouAllen, Steve Owen, Daniel Sylvester, Jason Hall, Greg Polston, Harry Payton
Ezell Esslinger, Ken Westfall, Thomas Jay Stackhouse
Bassmasters of North Alabama places high value in the youth of our area because these youngsters are to be the future generation of our nation that protect and keep the sport of bass fishing alive. The club sponsors the only Junior Bassmaster Club north of Birmingham and is heavily involved in staging CastinKids Contests in our area. The club conducted seven (7) CastingKids Contests during its first year of operation. See Web pages on this site for CastingKids and Junior Bassmasters of North Alabama. Blake Gowen, President of BMNA is also the Youth Director of JBMNA, assisted by retired Warrant Officer Alan Kyle as Senior Advisor.
One of the primary goals of a good bass club is to provide the opportunity of fellowship and association of anglers interested in bass fishing. To meet this goal, the club schedules tournaments through out North Alabama on such lakes and reservoirs as Wheeler, Wilson, Pickwick, Guntersville, Weiss, Neely Henry – the same lakes visited by the Bassmaster Elite and Open Series and FLW organizations. We also venture out into smaller bodies of water such as the four lakes located in NW Alabama – Bear Creek Reservoir, Little Bear Creek, Upper Bear Creek, and Cedar Creek where you never have to worry about being over-crowed. The club is also in the habit of scheduling some two day “away” tournaments on Miller’s Ferry, West Point, Wedowee, and Lay Lake. We encourage our anglers to participate in the Regional and State Tournaments of the Alabama B.A.S.S. Federation Nation – and we usually send a (6) man team to represent the club in one of the ABFN Regional Tournaments. Boaters and non-Boaters are members of the club and enjoy the same benefits of membership – ever member is treated the same. Also ask us about the Bubba Bait Bucket Bassmasters.
We stage a Classic at the end of the tournament year, have a family picnic during the summer months which includes a “buddy tournament” where you can fish with a relative or friend as a guest, and our Annual BMNA Year-End Banquet where the Bassmaster of The Year and top finishers are crowned and presented awards. BMNA is a family and fun club where we enjoy the sport of bass fishing – and the competition too. It is a club for young anglers to learn the skills of bass fishing and the older members to be mentors.
We maintain a top grade website for our members and the general public. Our Website Administrator, Chris LouAllen and Webmaster, Rick Wilkins of DothanbyDesign.com are picky and detailed and they work hard to get it right.
COME JOIN US AND SEE HOW MUCH FUN CLUB BASS FISHING CAN BE!